Victor Andres “Dindo” C. Manhit
Prof. Victor Andres “Dindo” C. Manhit is the Founder and Managing Director of the Stratbase Group and President of its policy think-tank, Albert del Rosario Institute for Strategic and International Studies or the ADRi. Stratbase is a full-service advisory and research consultancy group, specializing in building the relationship of corporate clients with the various sectors of Philippine society to promote their specific interests and address their corporate concerns.
For more than a decade, Prof. Manhit and the Stratbase team have been developing innovative and disruptive political and legislative strategies that position clients for success. A well-regarded strategist, he has built winning public affairs campaigns integrating message development, public relations, and the mobilization of grassroots support. With his extensive experience, he helps clients understand the interplay between business and government, and the impact of legislative, regulatory, and electoral outcomes on their business strategies. He also provides top-level strategic analysis and thought leadership on global issues in the Philippines.
Concurrently, he is Philippine Country Head of the renowned BowerGroupAsia (BGA), formerly known as BrooksBowerAsia. BGA has an unmatched expertise and experience in helping clients develop strategic expansion initiatives in the Asia Pacific Region.
He was a former Chair and recently retired Associate Professor of the Political Science Department of De La Salle University. He has authored numerous commentaries and papers on geopolitical issues, governance and political reforms. Today, he regularly contributes articles and columns to leading newspapers Philippine Daily Inquirer and BusinessWorld.
He obtained his Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Bachelor’s Degree in Philippine Studies (major in Political Science and History) from the University of the Philippines. A member of Phi Gamma Mu International Honors’ Society Beta Chapter, he specializes in Strategic Studies and Management, Legislative Research, and Public Policy Analysis.
His research interest and field of specialization had led him to pursue active involvement in legislation, bureaucratic work, and civil society advocacy. Among the government positions he held include Undersecretary for External Affairs and Special Concerns of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports and Deputy Secretary for Administration and Financial Services of the Philippine Senate. Meanwhile, his legislative experience encompasses the 8th, the 9th, 10th and the 12th Congress as the Chief of Staff of the late Former Senate President Edgardo Angara and senior policy research adviser in key senate committees, such as Education, Agriculture, Economic Affairs, Social Justice and Electoral Reforms, and Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Laws. Since 1987, he has been involved in all national elections in different capacities, from policy consultancy to campaign strategy.
After his stint in government, he became involved with many different consortiums and networks of civil society groups. His civil society agenda range from governance reform to environment stewardship, as Lead Convenor of citizen-led initiative Democracy Watch and Convenor of pro-industry group Philippine Business for Environmental Stewardship or PBEST, respectively.
He is also a Fellow at the Foundation for Economic Freedom, a public advocacy organization dedicated to advancing economic and political liberty and other market-oriented reforms. Similarly, his involvement with the distinguished Philippine Trade Foundation is aligned with the group’s commitment toward building a strategic and reformed business environment. As a member and adviser to the Board, Prof. Manhit contributes to the crafting of initiatives geared to attract investments.
His international reach is evident in his key role in the establishment of the U.S.-Philippines Strategic Initiative (USPSI) with the Philippine Eminent Persons Group. The trans-Pacific effort underlines the critical linkage of economic ties between the U.S. and the Philippines as a foundation for enduring security relations through research and programs. He is also an advisor to the Board of Asia Society Philippines, another cooperative organization, this time in the area of education.
He was recently appointed as one of the ASEAN Regional Forum Experts and Eminent Persons (ARF EEPs) by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Maria Claudette Guevara
Maria Claudette Guevara is the Deputy Executive Director for Programs of the Stratbase ADR Institute. Likewise, she is the Accounts Director of the Stratbase Group in which she ensures the delivery of work on behalf of clients to navigate and shape complex legislation and regulatory policy affecting critical client interest. She helps manage strategic grassroots campaigns on behalf of Stratbase clients. She works across the firm to identify opportunities, build teams, and engage in strategic planning and execution of Stratbase public affairs projects. She also acts as point person on the Group’s event strategy practice, developing and producing creative events for corporate clients and non-profit partners.
She is also the Secretary General of ADRi’s advocacy group, Democracy Watch Philippines, a citizen-led initiative that advocates for honest, fair and free elections, reforms to strengthen political party systems, and institutionalizing governance reforms through the principles of accountable government and transparency of decision-making.
She received her bachelor’s degree major in Political Science from De La Salle University-Manila in 2011. She took a course on Leadership of Change for Development Managers at the Asian Institute of Management on May 2017 and a course on Project Management from Ateneo De Manila University Continuing Center for Education in 2015. She was a delegate at the Southeast Asian Young Leaders Program of the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ Shangri-La Dialogue 2018.
She was elected as a two-time Batch President of the College of Liberal Arts at the De La Salle University from 2008 to 2010 and Sangguniang Kabataan Chairperson in Pasay City, Metro Manila. She was also the High School Student Council President from 2007-2008 at the St. Scholastica’s College-Manila.
Weslene Irish Uy
Weslene Irish Uy is the Deputy Executive Director for Research of the Stratbase ADR Institute. While with Stratbase ADRi, she also serves as its in-house economist, where she produces some of the Institute’s publications including Economic Snapshots, a quarterly update on the latest economic developments in the country, as well as its bi-monthly political-economic risk brief.
She is also a regular contributor to the Thinking Beyond Politics column of BusinessWorld, where she writes mostly about the key pillars of this administration’s economic agenda– its comprehensive tax reform program and infrastructure drive. Concurrently, she is the Research Manager of the Stratbase Group, where she oversees the firm’s sectoral monitoring.
Prior to joining ADRi, she was a technical assistant under the Performance and Projects Management Office of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary. She received her Master’s in Development Economics from the University of Sussex in 2014, and is pursuing another Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of the Philippines, specializing in public works planning.
Krystyna Louise Dy
Krystyna Louise Dy is the Social Media Manager of the Stratbase ADR Institute. As the Institute’s digital strategist, she ensures that ADRi is part of online conversations that are relevant to its Programs. She launches websites and helps the Institute’s Projects maintain online communities by developing social media content and designing and executing social media plans.
She was also the Chief of Staff of the Stratbase Group, and was the National Youth Coordinator of Democracy Watch Philippines.
In 2010, she was elected as the President of the Sangguniang Kabataan (Youth Council) Provincial Federation of Isabela, earning her a seat at the Provincial Board.
She concurrently served as the Treasurer of the Sangguniang Kabataan National Federation until 2013, where she took an active role in pushing for the reform of the Sangguniang Kabataan through her participation as resource person in a series of technical working group hearings at the Philippine Senate. The outcome, then called the Youth Development and Empowerment Act of 2014, was signed into law by former President of the Republic Benigno Aquino III in January 15, 2016 as Republic Act No. 10742.
She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science at De La Salle University in 2014, where she was a member of the Political Science Society (POLISCY), the oldest political organization in the university.
Amanda L. Fidelino
Amanda L. Fidelino is the Research and Social Media Associate of the Stratbase ADR Institute. With a comprehensive background in both traditional and new media research, she creates and plans engaging content for the Institute’s social media channels while seeking out innovative ways to connect with its audience.
She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of the Philippines Diliman, where she holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Research. During her stay in the university, she served as the Assistant Vice President for Creatives for the UP Communication Research Society and was a UAAP competing team member of the university’s varsity fencing team.
Currently, she is also the Program Officer for Democracy Watch Philippines, an advocacy group for honest, fair, and free elections, and an Accounts and Research Associate for the Stratbase Group.
Samantha Franchezka Ching
Samantha Franchezka Ching is the Research Associate of Stratbase ADR Institute. She supports strategic risk identification and monitoring of a variety of regulatory and political stories ranging from policy, sector-specific issues, and legislation. She provides clients with strategic research and intelligence on complex policy and legislative issues in the Philippine government.
Currently, she is also an Accounts and Research Associate for the Stratbase Group and the Program Coordinator for Philippine Business for Environmental Stewardship, an environmental non-government organization.
She graduated Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies major in European Studies from De La Salle University-Manila where she was a consistent Dean’s Lister and also a recipient of the Vaugirard Scholarship Program. She was part of the delegation that represented the Philippines and won the Distinguished Award in the National Model United Nations in New York City in 2016.
She is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Development Policy at the same university.
(on study leave)
Seung Eun “Vanesa” Lee is a Program and Research Associate of the Stratbase ADR Institute. She graduated Cum Laude with an undergraduate degree in Political Science from De La Salle University-Manila in 2011. She is currently finishing her Masters in Global Affairs, concentrating in International Development and specializing in Energy in New York University (NYU). Prior to joining the ADR Institute, she worked as a Research and Accounts Associate at Stratbase Consultancy, Inc.
Vanesa began her career straight out of college as the Executive Assistant of Senator Richard J. Gordon, who is also the Chairman of the Philippine Red Cross. She assisted the Chairman in all Red Cross activities, including handling disaster management and operations and relief distributions and all humanitarian events headed by the Philippine Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Philippines. When the Senator ran for office in the Philippine Senate in 2013, Vanesa joined his campaign and political rallies. Although Vanesa is a South Korean citizen, she considers herself more of a Filipina, having lived in the Philippines for more than 22 years and counting. She is fluent in English, Filipino and Korean languages and has worked as an interpreter for the Korean Association and for a major government project between the Bureau of Customs in the Philippines and the Korean Trade Network Company.
Vanesa manages public affairs accounts and works closely with senior leadership on client matters in several sectors and assists with devising and implementing engagement strategies; researching regulations and tracking legislation.
Jaime M. Jimenez is a Senior Policy Research Analyst and the Head of the Editorial Board of the Stratbase ADR Institute. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science at De La Salle University in 1994, graduating with a Gold Medal for Academic Excellence. In 1998, he received his MA in Philippine Studies at De La Salle University, and earned his Doctorate degree in Southeast Asia Studies at the National University of Singapore in 2003.
He is former Vice Chair of the Political Science department at De La Salle University, and is former Associate Professor II of the Faculty of Arts and Letters at the University of Sto. Tomas.
Dr. Renato Cruz de Castro
Dr. Renato Cruz De Castro is a full professor in the International Studies Department, De La Salle University, Manila, and holds the Charles Lui Chi Keung Professorial Chair in China Studies. In 2016, he was a U.S.-ASEAN Fulbright Initiative Researcher from the Philippines, based in the East-West Center in Washington. He is an alumnus of the Daniel Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Hawaii, U.S.A.
In 2009, Dr. De Castro became the U.S. State Department ASEAN Research Fellow from the Philippines and was based in the Political Science Department of Arizona State University. He earned his Ph.D from the Government and International Studies Department of the University of South Carolina as a Fulbright Scholar in 2001, and obtained his B.A. and two master’s degrees from the University of the Philippines. Professor De Castro has conducted several courses on International Relations and Security Studies in the National Defense College and Foreign Service Institute. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Stratbase Albert del Rosario Institute (Stratbase ADRi).
A consultant in the National Security Council of the Philippines during the Aquino administration, Professor De Castro’s research interests include Philippine-U.S. security relations, Philippine defense and foreign policies, U.S. defense and foreign policies in East Asia, and the international politics of East Asia.
He has written over 80 articles on international relations and security that have been published in a number of scholarly journals and edited works in the Philippines, South Korea, Canada, Malaysia, France, Singapore, Taiwan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States.
Alek Chance is a non-resident Fellow at ADRi and an international affairs and political risk consultant. His research focus is on US-China relations, international order, and the role of ideas in international politics. Dr. Chance was formerly Research Fellow at the Institute for ChinaAmerica Studies in Washington and Resident Fellow at the US Naval Academy’s Stockdale Center. He received his PhD in political science from Boston College and his BA from St. John’s College, and has taught international relations and political theory at Boston College and Loyola University Maryland.
The ADRi Board of Trustees is composed of notable figures from premier educational institutions and industry. The Trustees provides guidance and direction to the numerous policy studies and advocacies that the Institute advances.
ADRi’s four programs are convened by Dr. Francisco Magno, Dr. Carlos Primo David, Dr. Renato De Castro, and Dr. Epictetus Patalinghug.